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Synthetic Statements. Can Christianity and Science Coexist?

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Synthetic statements are truth claims that can be proven true, and just as important, proven false, by synthesizing the statement with evidence in the observable world. If it corresponds, it’s true; if it doesn’t, it’s false. For this reason, I refer to them as evidential statements.

For example, “The key is under the mat.” You know this statement is true or false by seeing if what was said matches with the observable evidence in reality. You go over to the mat and lift it. If the key is there, it’s true; if it’s not, it’s false.

Evidential statements tell us more about the world than definitional statements. But these statements can only give knowledge to a probable degree. Doubt always remains. Maybe the key is there, but we can’t see it for some reason. Maybe a reliable source told us the key was under the mat, but there’s a chance they’re lying. It’s always possible we’re missing something.

Though evidential statements only provide knowledge to a probable degree, we’re dealing with a sliding scale of probability — from a high degree to a low one. In life, we make decisions, from the most basic to the most lasting, lacking specific knowledge about the outcome. We make them based on the high degree of probability we’ll succeed.

In life, we make decisions, from the most basic to the most lasting, lacking specific knowledge about the outcome.

Likewise, we know what happened in history only to a probable degree. We can’t know with absolute certainty if Julius Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March in 44 BC. There is always a chance it was a different day. But, based on the historical evidence we have, there’s a high degree of probability he was.
Kyle G. Jones 


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